1. Are students from Puerto Rico still able to obtain complete, official academic transcripts from their home institutions? If they aren’t, what is the process to get academic transcripts of their work from Puerto Rico? Are agencies such as the American Red Cross assisting in this process? And if so, what is the turn-around time to receive documents from the Red Cross?

If their home institution is open for at least limited business and has power, the students should have access to their transcripts directly from the institution.  Also, institutions in PR can and do use some or all of the National Student Clearinghouse services so transcripts may be available through that outlet if not directly from the institution at this time.  We are not familiar with any efforts by another agency to expedite transcripts from PR.

2. If students are unable to provide transcripts or verification of coursework completed, the number of credits for courses and the grades earned, is there an AACRAO recommendation for placement into courses for these students?

Since some institutions currently use self-reported grades and courses completed to make initial placement and admissions decisions, it would make sense to use a similar process for these students in this situation.  An institution could choose to ask the students to take placement tests.  Not all will be fluent in English.

3. How are we able to verify students have being receiving, and how much, financial aid? Is PHEAA able to provide assistance on this process? If there a certain organization we should be using to verify the awarding of financial aid, especially as it applies to satisfactory academic progress and the academic requirements?

Institutions in PR go through the same process to be eligible to award Federal financial aid.  As such, a student’s federal financial aid history would be available through NSLDS.

4. How do we verify if the student has a criminal felony conviction? By law students with certain felony convictions are not permitted to do student teaching, etc. so we need to ensure we are compliant with the law.

Given that PR is a territory and as such much like a state, access to criminal history should be similar to how you would verify the lack of a felony conviction for students from various states.

5. Is there anything else you can think of that would assist us in working with the students to get their packets of materials complete for application to and acceptance into our universities?

Be flexible where you can.  Perhaps apply the same practices you did after Hurricane Katrina.

6. What about non-degree seeking student admissions?

The process to admit non-degree students from PR should be the same as how students from any state are currently being admitted as non-degree students.